The New Zealand Commerce Commission has announced that two of Telecom New Zealand’s backhaul links – which connect alternative telecoms providers to Telecom New Zealand’s local loop – will no longer be regulated, since they are now subject to competition. Backhaul services provide Telecom’s competitors with access to transmission capacity on specific routes between Telecom’s local exchanges and the competitors’ networks. By connecting to the telco’s local loop, competitors are able to provide retail services without replicating the links.
In June 2008 the Commerce Commission issued a ruling which stated that backhaul routes for the unbundled copper local loop must be regulated – including the terms and conditions that guide the flow of service on such routes. The current review looked at a number of routes and assessed whether there was actual or potential competition to Telecom. In its draft review, the commission concluded that two links will no longer be regulated, whilst a further 25 links have been examined for the first time, with early indications suggesting that there is no evidence that Telecom faces competition from other providers. The final review is expected to be released by the end of August.